Mike Company               

Third Battalion, Fifth Marines

RVN, 1966 -1971
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OPERATION PIPESTONE CANYON (MAY 1969). "Mike Company marched from An Hoa, (My Son 1 actually), to Goi Noi Island to join the rest of the Division. On the first day of the march, they hit a heavily booby-trapped area. PFC Kirchner was walking point about 50 meters in front of the column. We had always been told if you hit a trip wire or trigger a mine, drop to the ground immediately. Explosives blow up and out in a cone pattern, if you are lying flat close to the center, you stand a very good chance of survival. Kirchner tripped a booby-trapped 175mm artillery round, he had a second or two to drop and save his life. Instead of thinking of himself, he turned and screamed for the company to drop and take cover. He was still standing, trying to save his fellow Marines, when the trap exploded. He died instantly, his unselfish actions probably saved many others, but it cost him his life. He was, and is a Hero in the truest sense of the word."

Grady Rainbow.
Wednesday, June 16, 1999